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Salvation Army Won't Run Day Laborer Program

October 19, 1989|SANTIAGO O'DONNELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Salvation Army has turned down a request by Glendale officials that it run a program for day laborers.

In a statement, the organization's Glendale chapter said it "will be unable to provide management services for a day-laborers' site in the city" of Glendale.

"We have decided that it would be appropriate at this juncture for us to concentrate on the improvement of our existing services and the other projects that are already on our agenda," said Lt. Kenneth Hodder, who heads the chapter.

The city has been without a day-laborer program since the Catholic Youth Organization on San Fernando Road closed its gates to day laborers Sept. 11.

The decision was made when it became apparent that the presence of day workers had caused a dramatic drop in the church-run community center's child-care programs.

The youth center had opened its grounds to workers in September, 1988, to head off a hotly debated city ordinance that would have made it illegal to solicit work on public property.

The ordinance was subsequently shelved.

Now, nearly 50 day laborers wait for work on a five-block stretch of San Fernando Road near the youth center.

An additional 20 to 30 have returned to the sidewalk in front of a paint store at Jackson Street and Broadway in the heart of the downtown district--the unofficial pickup site until the workers moved to the youth center.

City Manager David Ramsay said the city will try to find another community group to organize the workers.

The council has no plans in the near future to adopt the ordinance banning work solicitation on public grounds.

"We are still committed to trying to find a solution involving the community," he said. "We're exploring a couple of options."

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